Wednesday, May 31, 2006

In the news today...

If there was ever a contest for "Most Likely Newspaper To Be Shut Down By The Government", I think the winner, hands down, would be the Sun. Ever since my dad decided to save money on buying the Star, I've had the pleasure of reading this newspaper of few pages but with plenty more interesting things to read in terms of opinions. And the best part is that them writers have no qualms about critisizing anything....INCLUDING the Government! *Gasp!* *Shock!* *Awe!* How can this be, that government officials have yet to run down the Sun's office for such cheek? I have no idea... but I'm sure glad that at least there SOME sign that they're allowing some semblage of freedom of speech (as in COMPLETE freedom, not the 'free-to-say-anything-as-long-as-it-does-not-question-government-policies-and-the-oh-so-sensitive-rights-of-the-bumis' kind of freedom).

One article in particular yesterday got me laughing so loud, I think the neighbours could hear me. It was by this writer named Samir Harith, who was talking about the recent controversy of 'indecent acts in public'. Apparently, some top shots have decided to become part-time moral gurus and defined acts like holding hands and hugging in public as 'indecent'. And as a result, some poor couple who was caught in the unholy act of hugging in a public place was hauled up to court and summoned. Of course, a lot of people, myself included, believe that this supposed 'controversy' is really just a waste of time and the top shots should be getting their cronies.... I mean.... the police to focus on catching snatch thiefs, robbers, rapists and murderers instead of slapping summons on any couple who so much as holds hands in public. And in the hilarious opinion of this Sun writer, he asks "...First of all, what are indecent acts? For one, I can name a lot of indecent acts. Farting in a crowded car is indecent. Talking with your mouth full is indecent. Even staring at people can be considered indecent. Now are the authorities going to apprehend me if I decide to show my appreciation of the good food by belching in the restaurant?" Hear Hear, my good man! The writer then goes on to talk more specifically on what they define as SEXUALLY indecent acts. Of course, he and most normal Malaysians still believe in being somewhat conservative, hence we all know that snogging in public isn't generally acceptable. But then, is it really fair to summon a couple showing their affection towards each other, while things like swearing in public is apparently deemed perfectly acceptable? And can anyone really be in the position to decide what can be defined as sexually indecent public acts, and therefore who can be summoned? Especially when we have people in high positions who say extremely idiotic things like "All single women with kids are 'gatal' ". Good grief, to think that these people are supposed to be the ones representing the general public. Shame, shame.

Anyway, on the page just next to the one I was talking about above, there was also another wonderful letter about the reasons why so many Malaysian students go abroad to study and never come back here to work.... And far as I can tell, he hit the mark in his letter. Among some of the reasons being the lack of efficiency and courtesy among workers in government departments or counter services compared to overseas, the rising cost of living without a corresponding rise in salaries, the lack of efficiency in public transport, and the oh-so-sensitive issue of the Government prioritising the Malays while side-lining the non-Malays when it comes to benefits. And of course, there are the sagas of police corruption, monkeys in parliament and moral policing. I'm just amazed that this guy actually dared to point out the unfairness of the oh-so-sensitive government policy about the Bumis.... coz' far as I know, such questioning is enough reason for the police to come round and haul the writer off to jail. But I suppose if they did that, the Sun would the first to write about it, and hence result in more criticism of the local authorities. So they would be wise to let it slide....

And yet the police still make no efforts to redeem their ever faltering image in the eyes of the Malaysian public. In today's Sun, apparently some police officials are so against the formation of a government body to "keep an eye" on corrupt policemen, that some officials even said they would protest against it by allowing crime to rise. Well, I'm sure that that's not the sentiment of ALL the police in the country, but certainly the fact that even a few of them could say such a brainless thing speaks for itself. All the more reason for the authorities to set up that anti-corruption body. Unless, of course, the anti-corruption body is itself full of corrupt people who don't really do anything to the corrupt police officers except support their corruption by taking their bribes. *Sigh* And they wonder why Malaysians who go overseas would rather not come back here....

Friday, May 26, 2006

Another American Idol churned out....

SOOOOoooooo....was I right, or was I right? Taylor won AI! Yee hah! But then there were a heckuva lot of other people who predicted he would win as well. I have to say though, the finale was really a fun show to watch. Lotsa fun stuff, including the complusory making fun of early auditioners who sounded or looked or acted really bad during their auditions. And they even gave away 'Idol Awards' for different categories to the really bad singers. The best part for me was when they gave away an 'award' for best impersonation of another singer, and a really geeky guy who so made himself up to look like Clay Aiken won the award. Then when he went up to get his award, Ryan Seacrest asked him to sing "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" and he did. But while the geeky guy was doing his bad rendition of the song, the REAL Clay Aiken came out on stage from behind him and the guy didn't realise it until he turned around and saw Clay there, and the geeky guy was so flabbergasted. He was like a teenage girl seeing his idol, even jumping up and down. And Clay, who looked a lot cooler than during his geeky days, straight away took over the song and did it very much justice. So cool! Another good part was the 'Brokenote Cowsboys' performance, the three cowboys who were in the same group during the group round of auditions, but all got kicked off during that round. They showed again the parody movie trailer of the three cowboys, and the three of them then took to the stage and sang some cowboy songs. And they actually did really well! They didn't sound so 'brokenoted' after all. :D Then there were the video clips of cute ol' 'calamari' Kellie Pickler learning to eat gourmet food like escargot and fresh lobsters for the first time. Haha, she really is such a funny character, I'm sure this won't be the last we'll see of her. Of course, the guest performances were pretty cool too. Most of the guest singers were those who had pretty much disappeared off the face of the planet for the past few years, like Meatloaf (who sounded gawd awful at the beginning of his song. :P), Toni Braxton, and Prince (or if you wanna be technically correct, the Artiste Formerly Known As Prince But Now Is Just Some Wacky Symbol). Prince was the last guest performance, right after that naughty Ryan Seacrest said it was time for the results and there were gonna be "no more surprises". Ah well, keeps the show entertaining! Then there was Mary J. Blige who sang U2's 'One' with Elliot Yahmin. I was hoping U2 or Bono would be popping up sometime during the song, but they didn't. Well, I supposed it would be weird to see Bono performing on American Idol..... but they were singing a U2 song! Of course, they brought back all the 12 finalists (I forgot about Melissa McGhee in my post yesterday....but then she was the first of the 12 finalists to get kicked, so who cares? :Þ) and they performed a whole bunch of songs, some with the guest singers. And last year's AI winner, Carrie Underwood was there showing off her pipes too, and she sang really well. I dunno why they don't play her tunes on Malaysian radio. Probably coz' her first single had 'Jesus' in the title. Ooohh....too sensitive for our tender Malaysian ears. Bo Bice wasn't around though. How sad. But all in all, it was a great finale. And now we AI fans must go back into our own little worlds and wait in bated breathe for American Idol 6 next year. And those of us in Malaysia can also wonder when they're gonna start Malaysian Idol 3. Ladidadidaaa.....

Thursday, May 25, 2006

American Idooooool!!

Tomorrow's gonna be the last episode of American Idol for the season! And they're gonna crown the new American Idol! Excitement and buzz is all around! Woohoo!

Well, I've watched every episode of AI since the season started (except for the week where Ace Young got kicked. Arrrrgh!!!) and I have to say this season's contestents are certainly more interesting than last season's (in the words of my brother, last season's final three didn't even make a bleep on his radar, unlike Fantasia, who won two season ago. But I didn't watch that one). This season's final twelve were all pretty good, diverse and interesting in their own way. There was the cute Little Chicken guy whose name I forgot and sang pretty ok but certainly wasn't idol material. And there was Lisa Tucker, who was a dang good 16-year old singer but got kicked because of too many bad song choices. And then there was Mandissa who was super huge size but a super huge voice to go with it, and I have no freakin' idea why she got kicked pretty early on. And then there was Ace who was such a cutie but not the best singer. I knew he'd go eventually, but wouldn't have minded him staying on longer just for eye candy. :D And there was Kellie Pickler who also wasn't the best singer but was also cute in her 'naughty little minx' way. And then there was Bucky, who definitely wasn't going to win and I had no idea how he managed to stay on so long in the show when he wasn't all that great a singer. And there was Paris Bennett who had very good showmanship, but towards the end, her voice started to morphing into some weird grandma-ish thing. I dunno what was up with that, but I knew she'd get kicked and she did. And then there was Chris Daughtry, the rocker dude who sticked to his rocker roots through most of the songs and should've been in the finals, but got kicked out of the final four. And last week, Elliot Yahmin got kicked out of the final three by a ridiculously small margin of less than 1% between the three finalists. But I knew he wasn't going to win either, and was pretty sure he would be booted that week. I'm wondering why he didn't get booted the week before instead of Chris, but oh well...

Now the final two left are Taylor Hicks, with his crazy stage antics and great song choices, and Katherine McPhee, whose got the big voice and the looks. IMHO, Katherine most definitely can sing super well. But most of the time she takes a perfectly good song and overdoes it with the ad-libbing instead of simply...singing the song. And she smiles too much, even during the sad songs. Of course she had a few great performances. But my money is on Taylor to win. Vocal-wise, his range is nowhere near Kat's. But nevertheless, he can still sing very well, he knows when to ad-lib and when to just sing the song as it is, and he knows how to make most songs interesting in his own way. And he dances like a spastic old man in an endearing kind of way, which makes him interesting to watch. He's definitely the one who stood out among the contestants, and in the final show, his performances were way better than Kat's. They each had to sing two songs they had already performed throughout the season as well as their supposed debut single if they win idol. But Kat really dissapointed me with her 'debut single'. Not only was the ballad super boring and 'safe' (which is not her fault but the producers' fault for being such lame songwriters!) but she was soooooooooo out of key throughout the song. I mean, even the judges agreed it was a sucky song, but even with a sucky song, a really good singer can turn it around and sorta make it a good song. She just messed up what was already a bad song to begin with. Taylor's song on its own wasn't much to shout about either, but at least he wasn't that pitchy, and in the end, he made the sucky song sound awesome. There is no doubt in my mind that Taylor will win. And the best part is that during his first AI audition, Simon didn't want to give Taylor a pass coz' he thought Taylor would never make it to the final 24. Luckily, Paula and Randy had the sense to let him through, and now Taylor's pretty much got the AI title nailed. Well, we'll find out tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Cadbury interview and Gerald's visit :D

Well, my semester at Monash is coming to a close, and I will soon find myself a jobless bum again unless I nail those interviews I've been hoping to get. I went for my interview at Cadbury last Thursday for the Management Trainee post, and I think I pretty much got it nailed. The lady who interviewed me was named Rani, and she was pretty nice and it was more of a relaxed interview. She asked me the usual stuff like to tell me a bit about myself and my background, what my degree is all about, what extracurricular activities I was involved in and what leadership roles I took on. She asked me what I know about Cadbury and I gave her more info than she expected apparently, coz' after that she told me most of the people she interviewed didn't tell her the stuff I did. I could tell her a bit on the history of the company and the other brands they sell like Schweppes, Clorets, Trebor, Dentyne and a heap of other confectionaries whose brands I'd never even heard of before, and she seemed impressed that I did my research. Woohoo! Extra points for Carol! She also asked me what I thought they were looking for in a Management Trainee and after I was done telling her what I thought, she said I gone it 'spot-on'. And she also told me that the way I wrote my CV was already impressive enough, and she just wanted me to come in so she could meet me in person (and probably see if I match up to all the good stuff I wrote). So all in all, I think I did a pretty good job at the interview, and I'm pretty sure I'll be shortlisted for the next round of interviews, where I'd have to talk to the Human Resource Manager, and another top shot. I'll find out if I get to the next 'round' beginning of next I hope I get through and I nail the next round as well. I asked Rani a bit about what the job is about and found out that they need two management trainees and whoever gets chosen (hopefully one of them, me) will be sent to different departments every 3 months or so over the year to see which department I do best in and where I should be posted. And they'll also be sent to Bangkok or Singapore for further 6 months training. And EPF contribution by the company is 15%, which is one of the highest EPF contributions by an employer. And any public holidays that fall on Saturdays (not just Sundays) are carried over to Mondays. Woo hoo! Sounds like a cool place to work. And of course, there the discounts on Cadbury stuff (*drool drool and double drool*) as well as the free hampers during celebrations like Christmas and CNY. Man, I sure hope I nail this job. If I can't get that Singapore Zoo job, this one is second on my list of dream jobs. Haha! :P I haven't gotten any reply from the Eppendorf company I applied to, and I recently saw the recruitment ad again and realised they want someone with a POST-graduate degree in molecular biology. So I suppose they won't consider me as I only have a poochie little undergrad double degree. So I gotta start applying for more jobs in case I don't get the Cadbury one and I end up with no income for the next few months.... *sigh*. My dad just went to service my Kelisa today and it turns out they had to replace the brake pads coz' they were worn out so it comes up to RM420, which I have to pay now coz I'm working. Waaaaahhhh..... Oh well, the more you get, the more you gotta give away. X_X

Well, to brighten up my weekend, my dear Gerald came to visit me on Saturday and Sunday. I think he's expecting me to gush about him in my blog... :P And so I shall! We had soooooo much fun together, skipping around everywhere and singing songs.... XD. Kidding! Nothing much lah, we just went to Summit and watched Over the Hedge (which was a pretty good movie), and the next day went to Pyramid, and just did a lot of chit chatting and walking around. Wanted to challenge him to a round of Point Blank at the arcade, but then they removed the machines. He doesn't think I can beat him at a shooting game. Cis, bedebah. :Þ Also enjoy a bit tub of Baskin Robbins with two ice cream flavours that ended up making a very gross looking colour when it melted. But it still tasted good, so bygones.... And he also went to visit my church, and he didn't much like the idea of having to wear a sticker with his name on it for everyone to see, and to be introduced to the whole church. Took a lot to convince him he didn't have to stand up in front of everyone and tell his life story. LOL. AND the best part of all, is that he actually met my parents. Such a nerve-wrecking experience, I'm sure, but he did it and everything went well. My folks actually seemed to like talking to him. And he didn't have a nervous breakdown. So it's aaaallllll gooooooood! Haha! And they surprisingly didn't have anything to say about him when he left. Which is good for me, I suppose. *Whew!* So it was a great weekend, and I applaud my dear Gerald for working up the courage to 'meet the parents'. And luckily, it didn't turn out like the movie. :Þ And now I can officially say, my man's got guts. :D Haha, ok lah, enough gushing about him. :)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Working to find work while working at Monash...

Thankfully after my little burst of frustration yesterday, I continued my marking and found a few students who could actually give me reasonably good answers. Thank goodness, not all is lost..... but I got to give them a good piece of my mind today during class... pretty much told them off (in a nice way) for not knowing how to explain their answers properly as well as copying each other or books. Hopefully I won't be getting the same problems next time around :P

Anyway, as my contract at Monash draws to a close at the end of this month (thank goodness, I can do without marking anymore nonsense for the rest of my life...), I've been doing some job hunting and sending out resumes to a few companies. One was a position for wildlife biologist under the Wildlife Conservation Society...which I thought would be something fun and good experience since I wanna work at Singapore Zoo. They're planning to do a one-year project to learn more about the ecology of elephants in Malaysia, and need three wildlife biologists to do studies in three separate forests. So I applied for that and went for the interview last week.... and they told me that if I got the job I would have to go into the jungle with a team of orang asli's for 3 weeks each month (with a one week break back home) to do the studies. And after the interview, I thought about it for a few days and decided to tell them to remove me from consideration for the posts coz' I figured 3 weeks stuck in a jungle and having to trek everyday with a tonne of camping gear will probably kill my knee. Just one weekend of trekking causes it to be sore, so a few weeks...definitely won't be good. Plus I'd be a girl in a group of mostly orang asli guys in the middle of a jungle... which I'm sure will cause my mum to freak out in paranoia. And frankly, I'm not too comfy with the idea as well. And the pay is only RM1500 a month including epf and socso, which actually freaked out my dad coz' it's a low pay. And sad to say, these days, RM1500 a month isn't much to survive on... even though my food would be provided and I wouldn't have to pay much for bills (coz I'd be stuck in a jungle most of the time!). So all things considered, I decided to tell them I couldn't take the job.

Another job I applied for last month is for the post of Management Trainee at Cadbury in Shah Alam. My uncle actually saw an ad in the New Straits Times, and I fit all the qualifications, so he thought I should apply. I thought it was a bit iffy at first since I know nuts about management, but decided to send in my CV anyway. I just got a call from them today asking me to go in for an interview next week. Of course my dad is pretty happy about it coz' he thinks it's a better paying job (and probably will be) and more stable than being stuck out in the field. And though it's got nothing to do with wildlife, I'm interested in chocolate, so I certainly wouldn't mind a nice cushy job where I can indulge in chocorgasms everyday. Hahaha! I'd probably make the company bankrupt, man.... :P

On Monday, I applied to for yet another job, this time in reply to an ad I saw on by a company called Eppendorf AG, for an Application Specialist. It's a company selling molecular biology equipment, and they need someone with a degree in molecular biology or something similar (which I have), and who can give presentations and sell their products to potential customers (which I can do... I think). And their office is ridiculously close to my place... less than ten minutes drive away at the Heitech Village building near Summit! No need to drive through the petrol money....I could walk to my office and reach there faster than people working in KL. Bwahahaha! And the person who gets the job would have to travel around the Asian region, mostly to Japan, to sell their stuff. Sounds like a job I'd enjoy more, especially coz' of the travelling. The only thing is that they prefer people who can speak Japanese, so I'd have to take classes. And I'd probably have to brush up my Mandarin too... in case they send me to China or something. Don't want everyone there wondering what kind of pariah Chinese I am who can't speak Mandarin to save her life. At least I can sort of speak Cantonese to save my life, but maybe only dangling by a thread.... So to all my friends out there who speak Mandarin or Cantonese, please torture me by talking to me in Chinese so I can hopefully learn how to survive speaking my mother tongue. And if my intonations come out all wrong, try not to laugh too hard, ok? :Þ But whatever job I get, being multilingual is always an advantage. So I must force myself! Ganbate!!!! (which means "Do your best" in Japanese. Least I know a bit of Jap. :Þ)

Well, I hope I can get an interview for that job soon....then if I nail both the Cadbury and Eppendorf interviews, I can decide which one I'd rather go for. Must check out the perks first... got good pay or not.... got give car loan lah.... company car lah... insurance lah.... travel allowance lah... all that nonsense. Hehe, me thinks I'm getting a bit less idealistic and a bit more materialistic. Good thing or bad thing... I dunno. Maybe next time when I get a nice house with a big garden, I'll adopt all the poor little homeless animals I can find, or hire someone to find them a good home. Haha....still got a bit of idealism in me. :Þ Whatever it is, I hope I get a good job soon.... hopefully something will be confirmed before the end of the semester. Then I won't be a bum for too long. :D Pray for meeeee!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

What is this 'ungulating'??

Today as I was marking some of the weekly problem sets done by my 2nd year students, it occurs to me that if their current level of competency in writing is the norm among most science students, the future of scientific progress in our nation is in deep poo poo. For one thing, I keep seeing the same mistakes over and over again from several students in the same class, which of course means they copied each other. For another thing, even when they do copy each other, their answers still makes little or no sense. The questions ask them to explain what a the reasons for certain thing or write definitions of certain things, and it's like they simply throw together whatever words they can remember from what they learned regarding those things into a sentence and hope it comes out right. Or they write such a short answer, it doesn't explain anything. Or their grammar is so atrocious, they might as well be writing Greek.
Just imagine, if someone asked you to define what is a giraffe, and a reasonably good scientific answer would be "An even-toed ungulate mammal that is the tallest living land animal, able to grow to between 16 to 18 feet tall. Has a spotted coat, short horns, lives in the African Savanna and eats tree leaves." And instead you get answers like "Very tall animal that likes Africa very much and is always ungulating". What the heck? How on earth am I suppose to give them marks if they can't even explain properly? It's not so bad if I get this from only a few students. But the whole freakin' class is giving me the same nonsense over and over again. After marking slightly more than half the problem sets, I got so sick of it, I had to come home from uni and have another chocorgasm (a.k.a. stuff myself with chocolates) to de-stress. Or else, I would've just gave up and given everyone a big fat zero. Which I still feel like doing, but I know if I do that, the Monash big shots will probably never ask me to work for them again for causing their students to fail, thus causing them to lose money from the fess they get. Quite frankly, I don't think I would really care if they did that, coz' I don't think I could tahan this torture of marking such nonsense for another semester. If Monash were really keeping up their standards, they wouldn't simply be taking in any Tom, Dick, Harry, Ah Seng and Ahmad who can afford to pay the fees even though their pre-U results are not up to par. And if they kept their standards high, poor lecturers and lab demonstrators such as myself wouldn't have to endure the torture of marking their nonsense. I've finished marking three quarters of those problem sets, and I haven't had a SINGLE student give me really good explainations or definitions to the questions, such that even a layperson who knows little about genetics could understand what they mean.... which is how they should write it. If any layperson were to read their explainations, I guarantee they will be more confused than ever. And these are 2nd year university students! In another year and a half, they will be graduating and out in the big wide world ready to apply their scientific knowledge in the working world for the benefit of the community. If they still can't think for themselves and have to copy each other, or they can't even explain things such that others can understand what they talking, how on earth are they going to thrive in the scientific community? They might as well quit Monash and go be Char Kuey Teow sellers.... at least it would be more of a benefit to the community. Yaaaaargh!!!! *Gripe moan gripe grumble moan grumble....goes back to marking problem sets...*

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Some REAL nonsense

I just felt like finally living up to the title of my blog and writing about some real 'nonsense', as in 'useless events in my life that no one else would care about but I just feel like blogging about for heck of it'.

Nonsense No.1 : I had to dress a little semi-formal the other day for a job interview and I was trying to put on a pair of earrings... but for some annoying reason, I couldn't poke my earring through my right earhole. I tried poking it through from back to front and it could go through, but from front to back, no matter what 'angle' I tried to poke it through, it just refused to go through.... which is weird coz' I had my ears pierced when I was young, it's unlikely that some flesh grew back. I figure it's coz' my ears can be allergic to most of these earrings and my ear was probably swelled a bit from a previous earring-poking attempt. I even got my mum to try and help me, but still no success. Eventually I gave up and went off for my interview earring-less. And after all that stress, now my ear is really swelled up. Gah.

Nonsense No. 2: Okay, this one is a bit gross but for some inane reason I find it super funny. Anyone who can't stand the idea of a girl talking so openly about the gross things she does, please move on to the next piece of Nonsense. You have been warned. Anyway, yesterday I was having a swim in my apartment pool. And as it was, nature called, in the form of a little belch... and I farted while swiming freestyle. The funny thing is, that fart couldn't be released to the air coz' it was trapped in my swimsuit, and I could feel that little fart bubble moving around in my swimsuit while I was swimming. And I found it so funny, I had to come up for air to laugh, and also get rid of that bubble. Lol! Yeah, I told you it was gross. Just a reminder of the wonderful things people can do in the swimming pool, and why you should be thankful that pools are chrlorinated.

Nonsense No. 3: I had a super craving for chocolate today for some reason. I don't think I've ever craved chocolate like that, but today I kept on thinking to myself "Hmm... I haven't had any real good pure chocolate for a long time. How nice it would be to have some now".... And I kept thinking that I could just buy it tomorrow or sometime when I'm on the way out or back home, so it would be more convenient instead of running out for the sole purpose of buying chocolate. But the thought kept nagging me and nagging me and nagging me, until eventually I caved, hopped into my car and drove to the nearby Giant. I bought a big bar of pure Cadbury milk chocolate, of which I ate 12 squares on the way home itself, AND I also bought a container of Belgium chocolate covered raisins, of which I ate a few as well. I tell you, as soon as the Cadbury chocolate hit my mouth, I was in heeaaaven! It was like having a choc-orgasm or something. Sooooooo good! And I was only satisfied after eating 12 squares (fortunately I'm not nuts enough to eat the whole bar at one shot. I was so choco-stuffed that when I went for my cell leader's house-warming party today, and there was some chocolate, it didn't taste good anymore. I had that 'bleh' feeling coz' I ate so much earlier on.... And my friend's mum was so nice, she gave me the leftover chocolates to take home.... Which means plenty more choco-stock for tomorrow! :P

Okays, that's enough nonsense for today... :)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

New motorcycle car, and some prospective car modifications of the future...:P

I've always thought that it would be so great if someone designed a car that could fit only one person, like a motorcycle but as safe as a car. It would take up less space, be easier to drive in a traffic jam and use up less fuel. And since so many working people go to work alone, taking up only one seat in a big family sized car, such a small sized vehicle would be the perfect thing for all these working people. And finally, after many moons of sitting in traffic jams and waiting for the day that my dream little car will materialize, I finally read in the Sun today that it has arrived in the form of CLEVER - the Compact Low Emision VEhicle for uRban transport. Nevermind that the people who designed the thing couldn't come up with a name in which the first letters actually make up the word 'clever', I can't wait for the little car to reach our shores so I can hopefully one day buy one of my own and zip around jams like I was on a bike, but in the comfort of a car. So cool! Of course, I'd have to work quite a few more years and make a lot more money before I can even think of buying it, but hey, who says I can't dream....

And since I'm on the topic of transportation, I've also always thought it would be nice if cars were made with some other modifications here and there to make life on the road, or to be more specific, life on Malaysian roads, a little less stressful.... Mostly such modifications would help in releasing the tensions of drivers that have to deal with other drivers who seem to have forgotten the rules of the road. Among some of the useful modifications I would love to have on my car are:

1) Retractable bulldozer thingy in front of the car - Ok, I can't come up with a better name for it myself, but this would be perfect for all those times I get stuck on a road which is supposed to be more than wide enough for two cars to pass through, and then a whole bunch of lazy buggers who couldn't be bothered to find a proper parking space further away decide to park on the side of that road and block it up so only one car can pass through. This is a particularly annoying problem at the road just outside Monash. Parking is difficult to get near uni after 9am, so some wise guys will park on BOTH sides of the road outside the hostel, thus making what is supposed to be a two way road into a one way road.... and cars coming from both directions get jammed up there ever so often. I'm glad I got staff parking now, so I don't have to deal with that anymore, but before I had that, I always wished I had a bulldozer thingy attached to the front of my car that I could use to bulldoze all those annoying cars out of the way. Of course, I might get into trouble for damaging their cars, but considering their cars aren't supposed to be parked on the road in the first place, any damage to their cars is their own fault and not the other person's.... All the more fun for me!

2) Fart-O-Matic - This lovely little gizmo could be attached to either the front or the back of my car (preferably one on each end) and could be used in multiple situations. For example, if a pedestrian was walking across the road in front of me at the speed of a snail because for some reason he/she either thinks that all the cars are supposed to stop for him, or he's immune to cars hitting him, one press of a button on the Fart-O-Matic will release a disgusting fart smell (complete with sound effect!) from the front of my car straight at the annoying ped. That would hopefully cause the annoying ped to speed up and out of my way in a blink of an eye. The Fart-O-Matic Pro, which releases an even more smelly fart for several seconds, would be the one attached to the back of my car, to be used in the event of an annoying driver
driving super close to my car's rear end. One press of a button, and the annoying tailgater would be miles behind me. Could also be used to send a nice message to cars behind me who have those super annoying blinding white headlights or put their headlights on high.... Since I can't blind them with my headlights in return, might as well stimulate some of their other senses..... Bwahahaha!

Well, that's two of the best modifications I could think of so far. Still need to think of some nice car modifications to deal with drivers who don't understand that Red on a traffic light means stop, and drivers who dunno how to use their indicators when they want to switch lanes or turn, and so on. But for now, I think if I sent in my new car design to some of those big shot car manufacterers like Toyota and BMW, I'd make a ton of money from all the people buying my designs. Hehehehe! :P